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Clustering EU Countries—The Relationship Between Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Development

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Management and Industrial Engineering book series (LNMIE)


The study shows a current level of the European Union (EU) countries on their way to implement the principles of the circular economy. It is limited to a number of factors that are partially and simultaneously involved in several basic EU policy packages—Resource efficiency indicators, Circular economy indicators and Sustainable development indicators. The hierarchical and two-stage cluster analysis shows that the leading criteria by which the countries of the European Union differ are the level of energy efficiency, trade in recyclable raw materials and resource efficiency. As a result, three clusters have been identified: the first cluster of seven countries with high resource efficiency, highly developed trade in recyclable products and a medium level of energy efficiency; the second cluster—catching-up countries—low and medium level of the top three indicators and low level of waste generation and a third cluster consisting of three countries—energy examples—a high level of energy and product productivity due to a high level of waste generation and a low level of trade in recyclable waste. The analysis can be used to improve research in the field of the circular economy, in decision-making at various management levels and in building the reverse supply chain of recyclable raw materials.


  • Circular economy
  • Resource efficiency
  • Sustainable development
  • European Union
  • Correlation analysis
  • Cluster analysis

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Correspondence to Ventsislav Perkov .

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Midova, P., Perkov, V., Koval, V. (2023). Clustering EU Countries—The Relationship Between Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Development. In: Koval, V., Kazancoglu, Y., Lakatos, ES. (eds) Circular Business Management in Sustainability. ISCMEE 2022. Lecture Notes in Management and Industrial Engineering. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-23462-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-23463-7

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